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GAJA PIEDMONT

Since 1970, this Piedmont wine producer has been equal parts agitator and innovator in the quest for perfection. Angelo Gaja shocked everyone with his introduction of non-indigenous grapes to his family’s Barbaresco Piedmont vineyards and, later, by including Barbera grapes in Barolos and Barbarescos, instead of toeing the DOC line of 100% Nebbiolo. But, time and again, Angelo Gaja has been proved right.
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2018 Roero Arneis, Bruno Giacosa

Bottle 75cl £27.90

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Beautifully deep ruby colour, with a bouquet of plum, cherry and spice. Fruity, fresh and balanced, with a fair amount of grip on the backend, this is a delightful Dolcetto that more than holds its own. A charming and approachable introduction to the Giacosa line-up.Armit Wines

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Morello cherry, bruised red plum and rose petal, spill from the glass.  Bright fruit intensity is backed up by ripe, silky tannins and wonderful freshness.  Drinking beautifully now it can age well for another five years.  Truly a baby Barolo from the Maestro’s cellar.Armit Wines

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2007 Barolo Dagromis

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £400.00

Case of 6 x 75cl £496.08

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Wonderfully mature with very complex flavours, it will be delicious for drinking over the next few years. Aromas of dark cherry and complex wild herb characters with notes of truffles and dark chocolate are followed by a smooth, ripe palate bursting full of complex, dark fruit characters with perfectly integrated, soft tannins. From the great 2007 vintage, this wine is...

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2010 Barolo Dagromis

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £448.08

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This is a definitive Barolo with floral aromatics, silky tannins, a rich full bodied palate, complex spice profile and resonating finish. This is a glimpse into Gaja's world of ethereal wines; an opportunity that should not be missed.

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2014 Alteni Di Brassica Sauvignon

Gaja Piedmont

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Bottle 75cl £85.18

Case of 6 x 75cl £448.08

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2013 Barbaresco

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £754.08

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On the nose, the sweet, lifted fragrance of roses slowly unfurls. Behind come the red fruits- pomegranate, red cherry and red currant. There is a crunchiness to the fruit on the attack but then the wine begins to flow smoothly across the palate, showing ripe and finely grained tannins without any austerity. The grip and bite of a classic Nebbiolo...

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2013 Barbaresco, Gaja Piedmont

Bottle 75cl £125.68

2011 Barbaresco

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 3 x 150cl £916.08

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Fascinating fruit aromas together with fullness and roundness of body are the distinctive traits of the 2011 vintage. The bouquet shows a nice complexity and concentration: rose and violet petals, notes of aromatic herbs, ripe red berries and peculiar scent of hard candies which leads directly to the distinctive sweetness and juiciness of the palate. The presence of the single...

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2011 Barbaresco, Gaja Piedmont

Magnum 150cl £305.36

2011 Barbaresco

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £916.08

Case of 6 x 75cl £916.08

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Bright, intense and lifted nose with incredible aromatic complexity: violets, balsamic and herbal notes. Rich, juicy and intense with terrific depth and power and a fabulously long finish. Sweet smoke, cherries and high quality oak wrap this glorious package together and it finishes bright, focused and crisp with perfect acidity.

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2011 Barbaresco, Gaja Piedmont

Bottle 75cl £152.68

2014 Conteisa

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £1,006.08

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2014 Conteisa, Gaja Piedmont

Bottle 75cl £167.68

2014 Sperss

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £1,066.08

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If you are interested in purchasing Gaja Conteisa, please contact our Private Clients team at clients@armitwines.co.uk.This is a beautifully harmonious wine which combines concentration with finesse, and the elegance of the 2014 vintage with the intensity characteristic of the Serralunga vineyard. An expansive bouquet of bright red cherries mingles with savoury spices and sweet herbs which leads to a succulent...

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2014 Sperss, Gaja Piedmont

Bottle 75cl £177.68

2009 Sperss

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £1,096.08

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2009 Sperss, Gaja Piedmont

Bottle 75cl £182.68

2008 Sperss

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £1,156.08

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2008 Sperss, Gaja Piedmont

Bottle 75cl £192.68

1997 Barbaresco Costa Russi

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £1,636.08

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2007 Barbaresco Costa Russi

Gaja Piedmont

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Case of 6 x 75cl £1,720.08

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GAJA PIEDMONT WINE

If there had been an Italian edition of Punch, there could have been a wonderful HM Bateman-style cartoon in a 1970s edition, called The Man Who Planted Cabernet Sauvignon In Piedmont. Having joined the family estate in 1961, Angelo Gaja took the reins a decade later and horrified everyone (including his father) by planting the berry of Bordeaux, as well as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, alongside the indigenous Nebbiolo. Ironic then that he came to be known as the producer of arguably the finest Barbaresco wine in Langhe.

The Gaja family arrived in the Piedmont wine region from Spain in the 17th century and, in the 19th century, opened a taverna and winery in Barbaresco. In the 20th century, Angelo Gaja’s grandmother Clotilde Rey urged his father Giovanni to raise the quality of Gaja wines. Giovanni did that in the 1960s by acquiring some of the best Nebbiolo vineyards in the area - including Sorì San Lorenzo, Sorì Tildìn and Costa Russi. And both Angelo and his daughter Gaia Gaja, along with oenologist Guido Rivella and his apprentice turned successor Alessandro Albarello, have taken techniques to ever more advanced levels.

Angelo had travelled widely - particularly in France - for his oenology studies, and decided to apply what he’d learnt. The decision to plant non-native varietals came not on a rebellious whim, but after rigorous scientific analysis of the Piedmont vineyards. Even so, his father was unimpressed - and, later, Angelo Gaja named his Cabernet Sauvignon-led wine “Damargi”, after the Piemontese expression for “What a shame”, the phrase muttered by his father every time he walked past that parcel where Nebbiolo once had grown.

However, this was only one of Angelo’s innovations. He introduced denser planting but reduced yields - particularly by green harvesting. In Angelo Gaja’s winery, things changed too. Temperature-controlled vinification, short maceration, skin contact depending on the vineyard, malolactic fermentation and the use of barriques - made by a local cooperage from new French oak - before wines are transferred to the traditional, larger botte. The idea is to take the might and depth of Nebbiolo and knock off the rough edges to create something more refined.

His next surprising step was to blend some Barbera with Nebbiolo. As a result, many of the best Angelo Gaja wines are not allowed to be called Barbaresco wine. Instead, they are released as single vineyard wines under the Langhe DOC - Costa Russi, Sorì San Lorenzo and Sorì Tildìn. Gaja has done the same with Barolo, in the shape of Sperss and Conteisa.

Angelo has been a key figure in the Barolo Wars. The pro-tannin, pure-Nebbiolo traditionalists would say he’s not on their side, but he believes he is actually truer to the old ways than they are, claiming that up until the 1960s, neither of the great Piedmont appellations were always single-grape wines and that Nebbiolo often needed the balancing acidity, intense aroma and low tannin of Barbera or, alternatively, the astringency and fruit of Dolcetto. Like the Super Tuscan producers further south, he feels the DOC restrictions are an impediment to his search for perfection. (Albeit, Gaja has always maintained a Dagromis Barolo as well as the DOC Barbaresco - to prove he can produce 100% Nebbiolo wines as well as, if not better than, anyone else.)

However, Angelo’s daughter Gaia is as strong a personality as her father and decided that from the 2013 vintage, the three single vineyard wines from Barbaresco - Costa Russi, Sorì San Lorenzo and Sorì Tildìn - should return to DOC status. This time, the patriarch has not resisted the decisions of the younger generation!

And what of the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc plantings? The former makes up Gaia & Rey - malolactic fermentation, six to eight months en barrique - in tribute to Angelo’s daughter and grandmother. (His other daughter, Rossana, is championed by another Gaja wine, from a more recent Chardonnay planting, Rossj Bass Langhe.) This Sauvignon Blanc Gaja Piedmont white wine is found in a silky, complex wine usually with wild herbs and the brightest of citrus and white stone fruit. Gaja Piedmont is also a major grappa producer, with spirits distilled from the individual wines.

The Gaja wine name has spread beyond Piedmont, too. With the acquisition of Pieve Santa Restituta, Montalcino, in 1994 (read more here) and Ca'Marcanda, Bolgheri, in 1996, Gaja Piedmont now produces more wine in Tuscany than in its home province. And, in 2017, the company announced a joint venture with Alberto Graci on the slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily. Armit Wines will be following developments closely and you might see these on our list in future years, alongside Gaja’s Piedmont production, which we’ve brought to the UK exclusively for the past two decades - 2017 marks 20 years of this great relationship.

View our Gaja wine prices and peruse our selection of Gaja Piedmont wines to order online today.

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